... the other Black experience

According to Rolling Stone, "the other black experience" is outdated

By Alexandria Gamlin

AFROPUNK FEST 2012 has been receiving all types of crazy awesome press, post festival. One of the biggest "horray!"'s came from a stellar write up from Matt Trammell at Rolling Stone. Matt has always been a friend of AFROPUNK and his re-cap of the festival was thoughtful, vivid and made us a little weepy that the festival was over. But one thing stood out -- the first line of his piece was that our slogan "the other black experience" was an outdated one. From the looks of the festival and what AFROPUNK stands for these day, he has a very valid point. AFROPUNK is a destination for alternative black culture, yes, but it has evolved into a platform for alternative culture in general. What it means to be an "alternative" gets sticky because THERE THEY GO, using labels to define individuality. 

Afropunk began as a rebel cry for Black punks, and provided a home to express otherness--for Black people. Black people are usually left out of the conversation when it comes to alternative culture, period. (think how black women were excluded and severely overlooked during the women's movement in the 70s). But it's 2012, baby. What does the "other black experience" really mean these days. Hasn't our whole mission been to have our experiences counted among the general alternative communities? Have we succeeded? Is it time for a new slogan? Or should we still make it clear that while everyone is invited to support and join our movement, the black experience is still a separate one?

Check out the awesome piece in Rolling Stone (woohoo!) and tell us what you think. Matt Trammell, you ole thought provoker! Look what you've started now!


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Comment by Epiphanie on September 5, 2012 at 8:26pm

I have to agree with most of my AP brethren & sistren. The slogan is still much warranted. Even in 2012, a time of progress, this side of black cultural is still a dismissive element to some. Inside and outside the cultural. As another AP stated MSmedia has a short attention span and we're still playing the role of the red-headed step child, not as many choirs to prove ourselves as "worthy" to be acknowledge without the disgruntled side-eye, yet and still a shadowy piece of the bigger puzzle. It gives us APs a starting point rather than a label in which we start to visual, mentally & physically define ourselves on an individual level... If that makes sense? Anywho, I say Viva La 'TOBE'

Comment by Hitch on September 2, 2012 at 10:11pm

Leave the name, the Other Black Experience is experiencely important. Afropunk isn't a fad and people still need it. Plenty of people don't know about Afropunk and unless you live on the east coast you don't get any exposure to it. The need for acknowledging the other black experience hasn't pasted. I think the tagline will out live the name of the subculture it self.

Comment by PolarVibez on September 2, 2012 at 1:33am

I think the tagline should remain as is. Yes, alternative black culture is more recognized now compared to when the Afropunk movie first came out. The mainstream is flirting with aspects of our community more and more and certain alternative ideas are infiltrating the mainstream at an increasing rate but that dosen't change the fact that blacks who don't rap, sing r & b, or dress like extras on BET videos are still a marginalisd group. More black kids need to know that it's okay to pick up a guitar. It's okay to skate, and do ballet or whatever. They need to know that there are no limits. They don't have to confine themselves to a ghettoized mentallity or be boxed in by the status quo. That's what afropunk represents. Always has, always will.  We definately shouldn't have to take have to the "Black" out of anything to draw in more diversity. Afropunk dosen't shut anyone out. If other cultures and kinds of people are interested they will continue to seek out Afrropunk like they always have. If being too "Black" or "Afro" scares some folk off then they are completely missing the point aren't meant to be here anyway.

Comment by SHINOBI NINJA on September 1, 2012 at 9:06pm


Comment by Seph on August 30, 2012 at 4:32pm

keep it!!

Comment by derek stalley on August 30, 2012 at 1:19pm

When this society moves past it's us and them mentality,then you can remove the slogan.I don't think your being regressive by letting the 'black' rockers out there know they have a community out there that recognizes the duplicitous existence they live because they listen to a genre of music that most of white america takes credit for despite the music's afrikan american roots. Keep the doors open for all,as black pioneers of music have always done; but you'd be remiss to forget how quickly we were pushed out and undermined in more than one artform because we were too eager to be socially accepted. Alot of white america has no problem making non whites feel like affirmative action receipiants whenever they step out of what they think is socially/culturally acceptable behavior (gold teeth yes,mohawk no...). Keep the doors open to all;that says more than the statement,but hold your head high under the banner for all those originators that dodged racist mobs because they were playing that  'nigger sound', and all these 'black bands' that can't get on the radio or a contract because they don't have mass marketability because of the colour of their skin....fuck you n have a nice :)

Comment by Ketina on August 30, 2012 at 11:36am

I vote to keep the slogan. Not everyone embraces all variety of Black people. The more expose we are, the better. Prejudice people still believe black people come in one flavor. They haven't been out of their own box. The same with mainstream Black culture; they still nailed themselves inside their own box. So don't change a thing.   The writer thinks but doesn't know the whole black experience just a part of it.

Yeah for the RS mention about AP though.

Comment by Ms.G on August 30, 2012 at 10:34am

Being a mixed "Black-Jewish Girl" and growing up on everything from Led Zepplin, Kiss, Stray Cats, Pearl Jam, Rolling Stones, and ....of course rap, hip hop, deep house, trip hop, r&b, regga's...classical! ETC.  I feel the term AFROPUNK says it all for ME. However, it is a movement that is multi-cultural and I think it's important to think about people who enjoy "Black Rock Musicians" who are non-black..It's more about the experience of something that is out of the box.  I being an "out of the box" individual felt that it was an experience that was something anyone who is "different", "non-conformist", or who enjoyed dam good music LIVE would enjoy!  Keep AFROPUNK's cool catchy name and maybe change the "experience" to (few suggestions) " The Black Sheep Experience" or "Multicultural Rock Experience" and lastly one in honor of the past- call it what it is "The Black Rock Experience"  for those who love Cody Chestnut, Lenny Kravitz, Jimi Hendrix, and other's that existed for this nich. I mean in essence that's what it is and always was, right?

Comment by brynna tucker on August 30, 2012 at 9:48am

I like Compound Egret's point - but I think part of the issue here is the fact that this movement has grown to earn mainstream attention - and mainstream has a very short attention span.  It's all about now, new, next - never about real sustainable cultural shifts.  I'm a white girl who grew up listening to hip hop and punk music.  My mixtapes were filled with songs from the Misfits, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Cypress Hill, Gang Starr, and Public Enemy alike.  That was in the nineties when I think Rolling Stone was talking about Hootie and the Blowfish.

Comment by Satan's Crow on August 30, 2012 at 4:51am

Keep the slogan. It's one of the things I make a point of telling people when I tell them about AP. I tell them that slogan because it's nail-on-the-head true. Further, with what I just read about the latest festival _only four of the bands on the first day where rock bands_, seems to me that, maybe AP needs to remember it. That alternative black culture speech is crap too. If it's alternative rock culture, sure, but but not alternative black culture. that's too large a field. Then AP would become a progressive black radio type thing. We already have plenty of them We need a space for the black rock n roller. I thought that was what AP was about.


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